dimanche, juillet 28, 2013

Review of 'The Light in the Ruins' by Chris Bohjalian

I gotta tell ya -- I usually avoid books featuring a lot of violent events like the plague.

As someone who is sensitive to nuance and detail in life (as a journalist one becomes trained to ream it up from the cosmos),  I'm also way too prone to take it in from novels.

I know I've missed some good stuff -- but I don't feel obligated to stay up to date on every dark excursion into  someone's subconscious (or attempt to exploit the huge female market for horrifying tragedies inflicted on mothers, gag me).

Chris Bohjalian is wonderfully different.

His acute, poignant and yet sweetly comic character study, an early novel titled "Water Witches," hooked me.  He's got an eye for the telling detail and a masterly way of showing empathy for his characters, no matter how bizarre their beliefs or behavior.

Plus, he lives in and loves Vermont, the lovely terrain of my childhood summers.

 In addition, from what I can tell, at least superficially, he seems to take  criticism thoughtfully, a genuine mark of character.

When I saw that my editor had Bohjalian's newest novel on his crammed reviewing bookshelf, I asked for it.  Those of you with a taste for dark realism and suspense, with the added frisson of a doomed love story, will probably rip through it in one sitting.

Just don't read it late at night. And keep the lights on.


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